Buchholz 'very sharp' in 6-1 win over Twins

Buchholz 'very sharp' in 6-1 win over Twins
March 29, 2013, 12:30 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Clay Buchholz wrapped up his spring training with four scoreless innings, as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 6-1, Thursday night. In six Grapefruit League outings, spanning 22 2/3 innings, Buchholz gave up just two runs on 12 hits and six walks with 22 strikeouts, for an ERA of 0.79.

For Buchholz, this spring went about as well as he could have hoped.

“I’d rather just be able to make a smooth transition [into the regular season], carry on everything that we’ve done to prepare for that first start and everything,” Buchholz said. “Just keep doing the same thing. The same game, just more people watching you do it.”

Buchholz had just two base runners in his outing, Josh Willingham both times, on a first-inning walk and a single in the fourth, when Buchholz also recorded three of his strikeouts.

“Thought he was very sharp,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A number of two-seamers that he threw in to left-handers that came back on the plate for some putaway pitches, strike-three calls. Good cutter, changeup, four-pitch mix for strikes. I thought he looked very sharp.”

It was an overall sharp spring for Buchholz.

“He came into camp strong, no injuries restricting him, other than the hamstring [strain suffered on the first day of workouts] he got over relatively quick,” Farrell said. “So it wasn’t so much anything mechanical, compared to Jon [Lester]. I think the overall aggressiveness in the strike zone, the tempo in which he’s using a little bit quicker tempo, I think that’s helped hm. But I think more than anything the back issue is long behind him and he feels more normal.”

The Red Sox got a run in the first when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double off Twins right-hander Kevin Correia, taking third on Daniel Nava’s groundout and scoring on Dustin Pedroia’s groundout.

The Sox added two runs in the sixth, and three in the eighth.

The Twins got a run in the eighth off right-hander Alfredo Aceves when Jonathan Goncalves’ single scored Pedro Florimon. But the Sox came back with a run in the bottom of the inning when Bradley’s single to left scored.